Here is a helpful checklist of actions you can take to ensure your greens will weather the storm:

Fertilization.

The summer heat can really take a toll on your trees and shrub’s nourishment levels.  So they are already low on nutrients and are about to enter several months of dormancy? Well of course that makes fall the perfect time to amp up nutrient levels with a proper feeding.  Fall Fertilization is especially important for younger, less established trees, that are more susceptible to storm damage. A slow releasing fertilizer injected or soil drenched along the drip line of the tree will help distribute nutrients to the root system for several months.

Hydration.

Even though trees enter a period of dormancy in the winter, when all consumption, digestion and growth slow down, they still need to maintain adequate levels of moisture. The amount of water your tree needs will depend on the species of tree, it’s age and your climate.  When watering a tree, focus around the drip line, which is the circle that trims the width of the crown on the ground. Imagine the tree like an umbrella, the drip line is where all the water droplets will run off and meet the ground.  This is where the smaller, feeder roots are located, and the primary spot where water and nutrients are absorbed. It’s important to water until the soil is moist but not soggy.  The key to a good fall watering, is to catch the tree after it has shed it’s leaves but before the ground has frozen.  Frozen soil acts as a barrier preventing the roots from absorbing any of the water.

Prune Away Dead Wood.

Before the fall is in full swing, prior to all the leaves falling off, is the easiest time to identify dead wood because they will be the branches that did not sprout any leaves over summer. Healthy branches have life inside them and are flexible when blown by the wind.  Conversely, dead branches are brittle and weak and will snap very easily with even small levels of stress.  Now is the time to prune away all dead wood so branches and limbs do not fall and cause damage during upcoming storms.

Cabling Weak Trees.

Cabling is the installation of flexible steel strand cables in trees to add needed support to weak branches.  A certified arborist is trained to analyze a tree’s structure and identify limbs that are not strong enough to bear the weight they are carrying.  The goal of cabling, is to transfer the weight load from the weaker branch to stronger ones to ensure that your tree will withstand heavy winds and stressful weather conditions. Cabling is very effective and is often a long term fix to a tree that might have otherwise failed.

Have your trees inspected before the winter hits and take the necessary steps to protect your home and family from any hazards that may exist.

Emerald Tree & Shrub Care is offering Free Property Inspections this fall, to have a certified arborist come evaluate your trees call us at 914-725-0441.

Storm Survival Guide

Did you know property owners can be held liable for any damage or personal injury caused by a tree rooted on their property? Especially if there were signs of negligence such as a diseased tree that did not receive proper care.

To prevent any damage or injuries, and to protect yourself from any legal issues, make sure your trees are healthy and regularly inspected by a professional arborist for any damage or internal faults, including hollows, rotting, and cracks before a storm.

Look at your trees for the following warning signs:

  • Wires in contact with tree branches
  • Dead or broken limbs and tree tops that may be hanging or lodged in the tree
  • Cracked stem and branch forks that could cause catastrophic failure of a tree section
  • Hollow or decayed areas on the trunk or main limbs, or mushrooms growing from the bark which indicate a decayed and weakened stem
  • Peeling bark or gaping wounds in the trunk which indicate structural weakness
  • Fallen or uprooted trees putting pressure on other trees beneath them
  • Tight, V-shaped forks which are much more prone to failure than open U-shaped ones
  • Heaving soil at the tree base is a potential indicator of an unsound root system

Preparing trees for natural disasters is a must and should be done well in advance of the winter storm season.

Keep in mind: Over the years, growing trees will be subject to more wind exposure and become heavier, so they are more prone to mechanical stresses and failure. Larger trees will also affect an increased area should they or their larger limbs fall. This means that power lines, homes, and other structures that might not have been threatened a few years ago might suddenly be under threat by a tree that has grown.